CHITTAGONG -  Pakistan booked their place in the final of Emerging Teams Asia Cup 2017 on April 3 against Sri Lanka after they overwhelmed Afghanistan by 124 runs in the second semi-final at the MA Aziz Stadium, Chittagong Saturday.

Chasing 268, Afghanistan were never in the contest as they lost early wickets, and afterwards in regular intervals as Pakistan bowlers denied them any substantial partnerships. Afghans were all out for 144 inside 32 overs.

Najibullah Zardan scored 31 off 25 deliveries to remain the top scorer for Afghanistan; Munir Ahmed scored 29 while Younas Ahmadzai could score 27 off 31 deliveries.  Bilal Asif ripped out the heart of Afghanistan’s middle order with five wickets for 40 runs in 8.4 overs. Hussain Talat took 2-19.

Earlier Afghanistan won the toss and asked Pakistan to bat first. An unbeaten century by wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan guided Pakistan to score 267 runs for the loss of 5 wickets in 50 overs.

Rizwan, who is also the captain of Pakistan’s U-23 team, smashed three sixes and stroked eight boundaries to score 105 off 99 deliveries. Haris Sohail scored 68 off 82 balls. Both Rizwan and Haris added 93 runs for the third wicket. Gulbadin Naib was the most successful bowler for Afghanistan with 3-51 in 10 overs.

Pakistan will play Sri Lanka in the final on Monday who defeated Bangladesh by eight wickets at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong.

Sri Lanka thumped Bangladesh by eight wickets as they reached 180 for 2 after 38.5 overs during the first semifinal of the Emerging Teams Asia Cup.

Chasing 179, Sri Lanka were rocked early and were in a spot of bother at 2-15 inside five overs. However, the unbeaten third wicket stand of 165 in 207 balls between Charith Asalanka and Sadeera Samarawickrama took Sri Lanka home quite comfortably in the end.

Sadeera was 88 not out from 100 balls, and his match-winning knock contained 10 fours. Charith played second fiddle to Sadeera, but scored 83 from 121 balls. His unbeaten innings was punctuated with nine fours and a huge six. Nayeem Hasan and Mohammad Saifuddin picked up a wicket each.

Earlier, Bangladesh limped to 179 all out in 49.3 overs. The eighth wicket stand of 53 in 72 balls between Mohammad Saifuddin and Abul Hasan Raju enabled Bangladesh to reach a decent total in the end. Nasir Hossain was the top-scorer with 39 from 59. Saif Hassan was out on 32 and Saifuddin’s 37 helped the hosts with some crucial runs late in their innings. For Sri Lanka, Asitha Fernando was the outstanding performer with the ball with four wickets to his name. He took 4-32 in 10 overs. Five Sri Lankan bowlers picked up a wicket each to peg back Bangladesh.